Experimenting with a dairy free diet has been a lot of fun and now that I have a food processor again, the fun has just started! Dairy replacements are often expensive, full of additives, lack protein and are typically made of soy. If you have cut dairy out of your life for health reasons, the last thing you want to do is replace it with something processed and worse for your body. There are a lot of good options on the market, but it’s important to check the label to see what the ingredients are. When it comes to soy based products try to pick one that is fully organic. Personally I prefer nut milks over soy ones as they tend to be more nutritious and I find they taste better. Nut based milks are also much better to cook with as the fat content allows it to act like dairy when heated.
Making your own vegan creams, milks, and cheeses are surprisingly simple to make at home and cost a fraction of the price. Cashew cream is ideal for cooking and baking as cashews have a higher fat content than almonds and the flavour is fairly neutral unlike coconut milk. The best part is that it only takes two ingredients to make, and it takes very little work if you have a high quality blender or food processor. The most difficult part about making cashew cream is waiting for the nuts to absorb the water. If you plan ahead and soak them overnight, this recipe is very hassle free.
If you don’t own a high quality food processor, you may want to strain the milk through cheesecloth after it has finished processing. This will help the consistency of the cream and remove any remaining solids.
There are so many uses for cashew cream, the possibilities are endless. You can use it on it’s own as a dairy free creamer in your coffee, reducing the water and adding vanilla extract will give you a thick and creamy vegan whipped cream, or you can even cook with it and make a delicious vegan fettucine alfredo (stay tuned for a recipe).
I also plan on experimenting with a vegan cream pie, featuring my favourite Canadian sweetener. Can you guess what it is? My aunt sent my mum one of these pies the other night and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since! Crossing my fingers that it works, because this liquid gold is pricey down here!
Have you ever made your own nut milk? What are your favourite recipes for cashew cream?
- 2 cups raw cashews
Place cashews in a fine colander or sieve and rinse under cold water for one minute. Transfer cashews to a sealable container and add just enough water to cover the nuts completely, approximately 2 ½ – 3 cups. Refrigerate overnight.
Strain cashews and rinse under cold water in a sieve. Transfer the cashews to the bowl of a food processor and add enough water to cover the cashews by one inch. Process for a minimum of 5 minutes until the liquid is smooth and creamy. For a thicker cream, use half the amount of water.
Depending on the quality of your food processor, you may need to strain the cashew cream through a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth to remove any sediment from the liquid.
Store in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months. Before using, pulse it through a food processor or blender to ensure it is well mixed.